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Travel Nurse Salary by State: How Much Do Travel Nurses Make Across the US in 2024?

Travel Nurse Salary by State: How Much Do Travel Nurses Make Across the US in 2024?

Quick Facts About the Travel Nurse Salary

  • The average annual travel nurse salary in the United States is $101,132, according to the latest data.
  • Travel nurses typically earn far more than regular staff nurses.
  • Travel nursing contracts include different levels of base pay and benefits, such as paid housing and travel costs reimbursement.

Travel nurses represent a profession fit for those who like to combine work and leisure. They are required to go to healthcare facilities that struggle with personnel shortages and work there for a specific amount of time, thus serving to mitigate the national nursing shortage. These assignments usually last from 4 to 13 weeks, during which most travel nurses perform tasks similar to those of a regular RN.

The travel nurse profession is one of the most sought-after nurse professions, not only because of the benefits of traveling the world but also because of the competitive wages it offers.

If you’re interested in becoming a travel nurse, you need to either earn an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), which might soon become the norm for registered nurses in many states.

Explore the academic programs offered by Nightingale College and start your journey to becoming a travel nurse! 

tavel nurse salary in the us

The Average Travel Nurse Salary in the US

Given the nature of the occupation, calculating the average annual travel nurse salary can be difficult. However, ZipRecruiter, one of the top job aggregator platforms, collected data on travel nurse salaries across all 50 states of the USA.

In July 2024, ZipRecruiter reported that the average annual pay for a travel nurse in the United States is $101,132, with a monthly wage of $8,427 and an hourly wage of $48.62.

The travel nurse salary you may expect will vary depending on the percentile you find yourself in, with top earners in the field taking home around $59,000 more than travel nurses in the bottom percentile.   

Here is a breakdown of the expected traveling nurse salary based on performance percentiles:


Annual salary

Monthly pay

Weekly pay

Hourly wage

25th percentile





50th percentile (Avg.)





75th percentile





90th percentile (Top earners)





A travel nurse’s salary will also be affected by the place of employment and state they reside and work in. Next, we will look at the variation in salaries for travel nurses based across the 50 US states.

Travel Nurse Salary by State

States with the Lowest and Highest Travel Nurse Salary

The highest-paying state for travel nurses is New York, with an annual salary of $120,132 and an hourly wage of $57.76, which amounts to $19,000 over the national average travel nurse salary estimate. This may be the case because the Big Apple is one of the most expensive US states to live in. Since travel nurses' wages include both housing and travel expenses, it makes sense that the most expensive states to live in are the ones that offer the highest pay for travel nurses. 

New York is followed by Pennsylvania, with an average travel nurse salary of $110,003 per year or $52.89 per hour, and New Hampshire, with a salary of $107,568 per year or $51.72 per hour.

At the other end of the list, Arkansas has a travel nurse salary of $78,186 per year (corresponding to a $37.59 hourly wage), making it the lowest-paying state in America. Florida is the second-worst state when the average travel nurse salary is concerned with an estimated $80,586 per year and $38.74 per hour, followed by Michigan, with $82,194 per year and $39.52 per hour.

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make By State?

Here is a table of the best and worst paying states for travel nurses, ranked from highest to lowest pay:


Yearly Travel Nurse Salary

Hourly Travel Nurse Wage

New York






New Hampshire



New Jersey
























North Dakota









New Mexico


















South Dakota









Rhode Island













































South Carolina


















North Carolina



West Virginia
















What Are the Highest Travel Nursing Jobs in 2024?

According to ZipRecruiter, the jobs with the highest travel nurse salary are received by NICU and PACU travel nurses, with annual salaries reaching $154,500 and $147,500, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, the salary for a visiting nurse ranges from $70,000 to $105,500 per year, being the lowest in the industry.

Here is an overview of the travel nurse salary ranges based on the specialization and role they occupy:


Lowest annual salary (25th %ile)

Highest annual salary (75th %ile)

NICU travel nurses



PACU travel nurses



Oncology travel nurses



ICU travel nurses



Average travel nurse salary



Visiting nurses



If you want to discover the 20 best-paying positions as a travel nurse, read our Highest Paying Travel Nursing Jobs in the US article and orient yourself towards the best career choice, from a financial perspective.

Is the travel nurse salary worth it?

Is the Travel Nurse Salary Better Than for Other Nursing Staff?

The average early travel nurse salary is $6,652 higher than the salary of registered nursing staff, a difference equivalent to $3.2 more per hour. Conversely, the travel nurse salary is, on average, $17,593 lower than the salary of ICU nurses and $27,358 lower than the salary of nurse practitioners.

Is a Travel Nurse Salary Really That Good?

So, is it better to be a travel nurse than being a staff nurse? From an economic standpoint, the answer is a clear yes, as travel nurses can win considerably more on average and have greater opportunities for advancement than staff RNs. And, since both job positions have similar academic requirements, you can simply earn a lot more with your ADN.

The downsides to a higher travel nurse salary are a lack of flexibility in working hours, worse job security and varying pay, lack of paid leave, and many other benefits that come with a stabler nursing staff position. The choice between these options will depend on your priorities and ability to adapt to a more dynamic work environment.

If you’re interested in the average annual income for all nursing career specialties, check out our nurse salaries in the US study and find out which are the best states for working nurses from a financial point of view.

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